Hello good people. Hope you are all having a good week.
Your brand has worked hard to grow your Facebook page. But with the many followers, the engagement is low, few likes, few comments, and most depressing of all, very few leads. Now you are frustrated and you don’t understand what is going on. I understand your frustration and I have a solution for you.
Understanding how Facebook algorithms work.
You might be asking, what the hell is an algorithm anyway ☹️?
Well, the Facebook algorithm is how Facebook decides which posts users see, and in what order, every time they check their newsfeeds so users see what is most relevant to them.
By the end of 2019, posts by brands on Facebook were seen by a mere 5.5% of their followers. To put that into perspective, If you have 100 followers only about 6 of them see your posts. Those stats don’t exactly fill you with confidence, do they?
What does this mean for brands?
It means having a big Facebook following alone does no guarantee you results.
You have to go a step further, you have to keep track of all the algorithm changes and how to work with them.
Okay look, understanding the Facebook algorithm changes isn’t exactly the easiest thing for business owners or even marketers who have a tonne of other things to do. The solution for that is to abandon Facebook. Please don’t.
Facebook is still the number one platform for marketers and consumers alike. It also has the biggest ROI(Return On Investment) for marketers when it comes to social ads than any other platform.
Your customers are on Facebook and in the digital era, you have to meet your customers where they are. This means understanding Facebook algorithms will set you apart from your competition.
Isn’t that the dream?
Facebook algorithms and how they have evolved
Facebook is concentrating more on the user experience. At the core of every update they make is the user.
Facebook was primarily made as a social networking platform for friends and family to connect and have fun on it. But with time businesses got into it and turned it into an online market place. Of course, Facebook loves this because they get to earn revenue through sponsored advertising.
That said though, they don’t want their users to get bombarded with business content they don’t want to see.
Facebook algorithms have been changing since it was created as shown in the diagram below by Hootsuite.
I will focus on the changes made since 2018 because those have the biggest impact on how we market on Facebook today..
The biggest sweeping changes Facebook made to its algorithms was back in 2018 when it prioritized posts from friends and family over those coming from businesses. Facebook changed its algorithms to focus more on meaningful social interactions than finding relevant content for users.
This was aimed at increasing the quality, rather than the quantity of time spent browsing on Facebook. The algorithms prioritized content with quality interactions( Likes, comments, reactions, and shares). This was a threat to brands whose customers did not engage with their posts.
The algorithms changes worked and engagement on Facebook increased by 50% but this exposed the weaknesses of the change. The algorithm changes promoted sensational posts that got people worked up.
These changes rewarded fringe content(fake news).
Therefore in March 2019, Facebook introduced a feature called “Why am I seeing this post” This was in a bid to increase transparency.
Later in the year, they introduced surveys to make feeds more personal and relevant. They asked questions like
- What posts (links, photos and videos) they find valuable.
- How important a specific Facebook Group that they’ve joined is to them
- How interested they are in seeing content from specific Pages that they follow.
- Who their close friends are
With this, the users can tell the algorithm what they like and what irritates them. If you as a brand pushes content that people don’t like you will lose. Fewer people will see your posts.
What this means for you as a brand is that you have to invest in valuable content that the users like. If they like it they will tell Facebook they like it which in turn will push it to more people.
In 2020 facebook ranks the posts that users see based on how likely they are to enjoy it. This ranking is based on a variety of signals called ranking signals.
Ranking signals are data points about a user’s past behavior, and the behavior of everyone else on the platform, too. This is how often do you get on Facebook, who do you interact with, what kind of posts do you like, How many posts are available to you, what groups are you in.
As you can see there are a lot of factors that are considered before Facebook shows you that video of a cute little dog running through the park.
The major ranking signals for Facebook are
- Who a user mostly interacts with.
- The popularity of the post
- Type of post (ie, Video, text, link, infographic, photo…)
Now that we understand how the algorithm works, how can we outsmart them and reach our users? Let us find out.
7 Strategies for Adapting to and outsmarting Facebook Algorithms in 2020
Facebook wants its users to have a good experience while on it. They want brands to put out there valuable content that drives genuine interactions and shares.
So how can brands do that?
- Invest in Facebook ads
Organic reach is slowly diminishing. Facebook ads give you the power to reach the over 2 Billion Facebook users. This can greatly broaden the reach of your brand which translates into more customers for you.
Facebook has arguably one of the most robust ad managers that enables you to tailor ads for your target audience. From precise targeting to dynamic creatives, cost control and analytics, Facebook makes it easy for brands to do Facebook ads.
If you are not doing Facebook ads you are doing your brand a disservice.
- Encourage employees and brand advocates to push your content
The key to overcoming the Facebook algorithms has been under our nose all along. Using our employees and friends. Your employees have friends and family too.
Like we said before, Facebook is prioritizing interactions through family and friends. By encouraging your employees to comment, share your posts, you get a wide organic reach.
When your employees share your content, Facebook automatically amplifies the reach of the post.
As a brand, you should have an employee advocacy program. I would recommend using an employee advocacy platform like Bambu to Give your employees a simple way to amplify your brand’s reach by sharing curated content across their social networks.
- Leverage Facebook Groups that are meaningful to your audience
Facebook groups remain to be the most valuable part of Facebook. Some people say they get more valuable information from groups than they do from their newsfeed.
The beauty of groups is that users opt-in. that is like saying I want to see what you are posting here. In groups, there are targeted users in that they are bound together by a common topic. That always encourages engagements, from likes to comments and shares. As we said, Facebook prioritizes posts with engagements and shows them to more people
Consider opening that group for your business today. You will thank me later.
- Make video an integral part of your content strategy
It’s no secret that human beings are visual creatures. Videos capture the attention of users. Facebook itself has noted that video content drives higher interactions and engagements compared to any other type of content on the platform.
It doesn’t require rocket science to see that you need to include videos in your content strategy.
Pro Tip: Make sure you are using Facebook Live. Studies show that Facebook Live averages 6 times the engagement of normal videos.
- Never post content that will get you down-ranked
Well, this should be common sense for any brand using Facebook. But let us just revisit some of the content you should not post for good measure.
- Borderline content( This is content that is not necessarily prohibited by Facebook but is offensive nevertheless)
- Misinformation and Fake News
- Sensational information
- Links to questionable, suspicious sites
The list is long.
- Post often and consistently
According to Facebook, pages that consistently post are more relevant and meaningful to users than those that don’t. Therefore the frequency of posting is a ranking signal that affects how often your post is shown to the users.
To make this easier you can use a content calendar and post scheduling tools. I would recommend using Hootsuite. I have used it before and I loved it.
- Post when your audience is online.
The time that one posts on Facebook has an impact on the engagements. It is therefore wise to study your analytics to see when most of your followers are online
According to Hootsuite:
- B2B( Business to Business) brands posts perform best between 9 am and 2 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
- B2C (Business to Consumer) brands posts perform best at noon on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
You can use a tool like Sprout Social to schedule your Facebook posts based on when they’re more likely to win the most engagement.
The ever-changing Facebook algorithms mean that brands have to constantly look out for them and change their content strategies accordingly.
I must admit this has been a long article. It is my sincere hope that I have been able to shed some light on Facebook algorithms.
How do you feel about the ever-changing Facebook algorithms? Let me know in the comment section below. Also, don’t forget to share with your family, friends, and social media followers.
Have a cheerful weekend and don’t forget to spread love and happiness.